Today is my sixteenth birthday. I should be excited, right? I'm not. Most kids are super excited for their sixteenth birthday. Then again most kids had friends to celebrate it with. I don't. I don't know why, but people just seemed to be adverse to... well me. Most kids also get their license today, which would be super exciting because it means you have the ability to go places without needing someone to drive you. I don't even have my permit yet. My mother believes I won't need a license until my eighteenth birthday. When I ask why her only response is 'why do you need a license when you have a driver'? Why indeed. Maybe so I won't be the only kid at my high school that gets dropped off by their own personal driver. But she doesn't understand that.
Other than my lack of friends and my issues with my mother, my life is pretty damn amazing. I have all the latest trends in fashion, electronics, and hair styles. My parents are filthy rich and give me everything I have ever desired. But what's the point in having the most expensive clothes and the most advanced cell phone if you don't have anyone to admire and envy you? Think about it, would you want the best in everything if no one cared you had it? If you had no one to share it with? It's not as much fun as you might think it would be.
It's Friday October 31, 2013. Yeah, I know it's kind of weird having a Halloween birthday, but it's kind of cool too. I mean you'd get to celebrate and dress up every year. Halloween wouldn't end just because you've grown up. That's how it should be, but we never dress up in my house. It's not that my parents are super religious or anything. No, my mom just thinks that anything frivolous should be outlawed.
She was raised in a very strict home and was taught to be elegant and presentable at all times. She never so much as comes out of her room without her hair and makeup done. Maybe she doesn't even take it off? I thought to myself. I always regard her with a little amusement and disdain. I don't necessarily dislike my mother. I just don't want to be her. But what Mom says goes and I'm expected to act, talk, and look socially acceptable at all times.
I was taught to walk, sit, eat, and even sleep with my back perfectly straight. I was taught to only speak when someone speaks to me. I never wear anything that a forty year old, businesswomen wouldn't wear. Or so my mother thinks. Basically I was groomed to be the perfect little clone of my mother and since today is my sixteenth birthday this weekend I will be presented to society. That means that I will dress up and curtsy and be told about a thousand times how beautiful I am by people who don't know me, don't want to know me, and if knew me would mostly never talk to me. Not to mention that my mother will treat every guy there as if he will become my husband. As if I want to be a wife, I thought for the thousandth time. But as mother says...
I look over at the silver clock on my nightstand; it says it's 7:00am. I'm supposed to be downstairs for breakfast in twenty minutes, with a big sigh I get out of bed. My room is designed around my unusual eyes. They are bluish-silver. The walls are a deep cobalt and the floors are white-washed Ash wood. All of my shelves are made of metal and are tinted blue. As is the frame of my double bed. But the blankets are winter blue and the sheets are silver.
The walls are lined with silver-framed photos of aged, black and white trees and landscapes. The floors is dotted with clothes and shoes and the occasional crumpled up, ball of paper that never quite made it to the trash bin. My huge ash and silver desk, pushed up against the opposite wall from my bed, is covered in paper and CD's. On it sits my Dell laptop computer, it's silver with squishy blue swirls on it. I have to huge windows. One looks out over the backyard, my desk is in front of it, and the other looks out over the garage and is at a right angle to my desk. Both are floor to ceiling, arched, and draped with frothy, silver netting.
I cross to my huge closet, which is along the same wall as my bathroom and bedroom door, across from my bed and desk. It's at least eight feet deep and ten feet long and holds nearly enough clothes to outfit hundred homeless people for a decade. Plus, fifty shoes give or take another fifty. Hidden in the very back of my closet is a pair of dark blue jeans and plain, white cotton tee. I take those out and put with on matching them with a pair of white leather tennis shoes.
I know my mom will have a heart attack but for just one day I want to look like every other girl at school looks. I don't want to mocked and laughed at. I don't want people whispering about how I think I'm better than everyone else or how I'm too much of a snob to have any real friends. None of that is true you know. I don't think I'm better than anyone else. I'm not a snob, but since I have perfect posture and rarely speak and have all the latest and trendiest that's what people think of me. Even though none of them have ever tried to get to know the real me. It still hurts, even though that's how it's been since we moved to Half Moon Bay, California from New York in the 4th grade.
Looking at myself in the mirror, I'm almost shocked to see tears in my eyes. I brush them away and focus on my face. I have flawless skin. No, really flawless. You know, how some people just say they do but if you look really closely you'll see imperfections? Well, that's not me. My skin is creamy and pale. No pores, no acne, no unevenness. It's always been like that. People at school think I wear gallons of high-quality make-up, like celebrities do, but it's just how my skin is. My eyebrows are sleek and slanted and I don't even have to pluck them. Seriously, even when I was five years old my eyebrows were like that.
My hair stops just above my waist and is the color of raven feathers. And as soft. I've never gotten it cut or trimmed. I'm just under six feet tall and very slender. I turn away from the mirror and head downstairs.
Our house is huge. It has three different wings: the guest wing, the family wing, and the servant's wing. The servant's wing is on the first floor along with the living spaces. The family wing is on the second floor with the guest wing. The guest wing and the family wing meet at the grand staircase. It's at least four people wide and made of white marble. The wings meet at the head of the stairs, which sweep to either side and then narrows only to flare again at the bottom. To the left of the stairs is the formal dinning room, which leads to the kitchen and family eating area. To the right is the formal living room and conservatory. Down either side of the stairs is a hallway that leads to the library and from there you can reach the den, which opens into the kitchen, and the office, which opens into the conservatory. Behind the kitchen is the servants lounge area and on the other side of the conservatory are the servants rooms.
At the bottom of the stairs, I turn left and walk back into the family dinning room. My mom is already sitting to the right of the head of the table, where my dad sits. My mom is a striking figure. She wears her hair short and simple and is the color of wheat. Her skin is tan and smooth. Her eyes are a deep brown, like rich walnut. She only wears business suits and penny loafers.
The oak table is covered with plates of bacon, sausage, pancakes, waffles, eggs, and toast. As well as, bowls of fruit and yogurt. I sit down opposite of my mom.
"Dad not down yet?" I ask as I grab two pieces of bacon, a pancake, and a banana.
"He will be down shortly." Mom said, without looking up from her paper.
I slather my pancake with syrup. Betty, one of our servers, brings me a glass of milk. "Thanks, Betty."
She smiles at me. "No problem, sweetie." She always calls me that, much to my moms disapproval. She leaves the room and Dad enters it.
Mom looks up. "Good morning, honey. Have some breakfast." She says that every morning even though Dad wouldn't leave the house without his biscuits and gravy.
My dad is a tall, proud man. His hair has began to turn gray in a way that only makes him more imposing. Yet, if you look closely at his eyes you'll see humor and happiness that belies the tough looks. He has green eyes and blond hair. He's probably the only friend I have, except for Greg, my driver. Dad sat down and made himself a plate of bacon, waffles, and an apple. Betty brought him a glass of milk and a half-glass of orange juice.
"Happy birthday, Dom." Dad said when he finished making his plate.
Mom put her paper aside. "Yes, happy birthday, Dominic. Don't forget tonight we'll have a small party so be home right after school." Her eyes raked my face as she spoke. "Why aren't you wearing make-up? Is your hair brushed?"
I swallowed a mouthful of pancake. "Because I didn't feal like it, Mother. And yes, my hair is brushed." If you count running my fingers through it brushing it, I thought to myself. "Besides, I don't need make-up. My skin is already perfect." If my tone implied that I wasn't entirely pleased by that, well you try being perfect, it's not that great. "Make-up just makes me look worse." Which is true. Without make-up I look not-quite real, you know? Like models in fashion magazines. With make-up I look like one of those girls who put on too much make-up that didn't match their natural complexion.
Mom sighed. We've had the same argument everyday since she started insisting that I wear makeup. I always win because, in this case, I'm right. We ate the rest of the meal in silence.
At 7:20 Betty enters the room to tell me Greg, my driver, is waiting in the car. "OK, thanks. Bye, Mom. Bye, Dad. See you after school." I almost made it out of the room without Mom noticing my clothes.
"Dom - what on earth are you wearing?" My mother exclaimed.
"Jeans." I said, simply and walked out. I hear my mom tell my dad to go after me.
"Dominic." Dad said, following me.
I turn around. "I'm going to be late, Dad."
He nods. "Look, I think you look fine, but you know how your mom is. Would you mind changing?"
"No," he looked relieved. I continued, "I'm not changing." His face fell. "I'm sorry, Dad. But I'm tired of following her rules all the time." I hugged him. "I've got to go. See you."
"Have a good day, Dom." He hesitated, "I'll, uh, deal with your mom."
"Thanks." I walk out the front door and down the drive to the silver Mercedes idling by the curb. "How's it going, Greg?"
"Fine, Miss. Mason." He responds as I close the door.
"That's good." He takes off. Greg is gray-haired and his face is lined with years. He used to serve in the military. His father worked for us before him, but by the time he got back from duty his father had died and he took over his job. Which never made since to me because from what I've heard from Betty, Greg hated the fact that his dad drove my mother around. But I heard my dad talking to Greg once and Greg said that after being away from his father for so long he finally understood what was actually important in life. What that is I don't know because Greg didn't expand.
We don't say anything else until we reach the school. "Happy birthday, Miss. Mason." Greg says.
"Thanks, Greg." I said startled. "I didn't know you knew it was my birthday."
"Of course, Miss. Mason." He smiled at me. "Have a nice day."
"I'll try." I say sarcastically and stepped out of the car.